Today’s Technique: Keylock from Turtle Bottom


Kimura, keylock, double wrist lock, ude garami. Pick your terminology.

  1. You’re in turtle (referee’s position) with your partner attacking you from the side. He’s keeping good weight on the near-side so you can’t roll him over your back. Then, he makes a huge mistake, he reaches to grab your far collar to open it up for a choke.
  2. All you really need is the wrist trapped, so  raise your elbow up and back to pinch on the arm. We’ll say it’s your right arm trapping his right arm (he’s on your left side). Ideal position is to have your elbow trapping the upper forearm or higher so that your hand can cup the lower forearm by the wrist.
  3. Step up with your right leg like you’re going to roll him over you. You’re just making space here.
  4. Qucikly spin underneath him so that you end up doing a sit-out. You should end up with your right elbow on his shoulder, holding his right arm at the lower forearm still (you should have an undergrip on the arm). If you’re having trouble finishing the keylock here, just bail and take his back, but if you feel the position is right, gently lean back. It’s important to use your body weight because you’re applying the lock with only one arm.

It’s important that your elbow ends up grinding into their shoulder. The weight on their shoulder is the only thing keeping them from coming back up until you start in on the submission. You can also switch to a two-armed variation once you’ve done the sit-out. To do this, feed your left hand under his elbow and figure-four on your right arm, block his arm with your hip so he can’t pull it out, then switch your right hand to an over grip instead of an undergrip – now you’re in the traditional kimura grip.

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